Reading roundup 30/03/22

Hello readers! Unfortunately, I have had a bad reaction to my second COVID booster jab and I have been very ill for a couple of days. So, this will be a bare bones post.

Here is the first book:

The White Girl by Tony Birch

The first book of the week was The White Girl by Tony Birch. This is the blurb:

“Odette Brown has lived her whole life on the fringes of a small country town. After her daughter disappeared and left her with her granddaughter Sissy to raise on her own, Odette has managed to stay under the radar of the welfare authorities who are removing fair-skinned Aboriginal children from their families. When a new policeman arrives in town, determined to enforce the law, Odette must risk everything to save Sissy and protect everything she loves.

In The White Girl, Miles-Franklin-shortlisted author Tony Birch shines a spotlight on the 1960s and the devastating government policy of taking Indigenous children from their families.”

And here is my response as written on Goodreads:

The White GirlThe White Girl by Tony Birch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a simply and well written story about the plight of Aboriginal people living in the Australia of the 50s. I found the racism suffered by the people absolutely horrifying: ranging from petty acts by local youths to institutional systems set up to disadvantage them. I had heard about how families could be torn apart with efforts made to suppress Aboriginal lifestyles and culture and the book really drove all of this home.

The writing style makes the book accessible to a wide age-range and it could easily be used as a text by schools as well as being read and enjoyed by adults.

View all my reviews
The Innocents by Michael Crummey

This second book of the week was completely different: The Innocents by Michael Crummey. Here is the blurb:

“A brother and sister are orphaned in an isolated cove on Newfoundland’s northern coastline. Their home is a stretch of rocky shore governed by the feral ocean, by a relentless pendulum of abundance and murderous scarcity. Still children with only the barest notion of the outside world, they have nothing but the family’s boat and the little knowledge passed on haphazardly by their mother and father to keep them.

Muddling though the severe round of the seasons, through years of meagre catches and storms and ravaging illness, it is their fierce loyalty to each other that motivates and sustains them. But as seasons pass and they wade deeper into the mystery of their own natures, even that loyalty will be tested.

The Innocents is richly imagined and compulsively readable, a riveting story of hardship and survival, and an unflinching exploration of the bond between brother and sister. By turns electrifying and heartbreaking, it is a testament to the bounty and barbarity of the world, to the wonders and strangeness of our individual selves.”

This is my short review on Goodreads:

The InnocentsThe Innocents by Michael Crummey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am so glad that I chose this book. Usually, I enjoy fast-paced thrillers and crime novels, but this slow and detailed story really caught my imagination.

A brother and sister of 12 and 10 are left orphaned in a cove on Newfoundland in the 19th century. They have previously worked with their parents to eke out a living from the land and sea around them, with twice-yearly visits from a ship which replenishes their stores. The two children carry on with the numerous tasks that keep them alive in harsh conditions. Occasional visitors come by and liven up their existence, but life is very hard.

The reaction to this book is very varied, but I am amongst those who were absorbed by the story and the amazing details of daily life and the fight to survive. The darker side was very realistic and I felt necessary to the whole tale.

View all my reviews

Happy Reading to you all!

Love and best wishes,



About The Librain

Retired School Librarian
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